Humans have accomplished many amazing feats, but few more rewarding than the brew flight – a sampling of 4-6 different craft brews, because why should anyone have to pick only one? With 400 craft breweries strewn around the Colorado, the term “flight” has become everyday vernacular – and finally, it’s branching out to other delicacies. Our favorite? The butter flight.
Bella La Crema is the world’s first butter bar, situated in Lyons, Colorado. The menu here is a butter flight of your choosing (and some freshly baked breads for your dipping). But the star of the show is certainly the butter itself.
Each type of butter is flavored with herbs and spices, ranging from savory to sweet. Unique churns include staples such as “French Countryside,” made with rosemary, garlic, thyme and herbs de Provence; “Ode to Neruda,” made with paprika, garlic, onions and lime; and many flavors for the sweet tooths as well, such as “Mayan Chocolate Muse,” made with chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, and cayenne.
The owner is Shauna Lee Strecker, and she might qualify for a whole new foodie label called the “butter tooth.” She cultivates more than 20 different artisanal flavors from scratch – all made from the organic cream of grass-fed cows. And she’s on a mission to bring real butter back to the table.
“Butter had been ruined, in my opinion,” says Strecker. “People were just using it as a throw-aside condiment, much like ketchup or mustard. Most of the store-bought butter is ridiculous—it’s crap. That’s why I decided to make butter beautiful again.”
Maybe, just maybe, you’ve read this whole thing with your nose turned up at the prospect of butter-centric cuisine. Well, you’re still in luck! This bar’s menu is vast, and full of all kind’s of comfort foods that uphold culinary traditions – they just use the best butter and buttermilk while doing it. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus include prizes like rosemary sage grilled cheese, tomato bisque and a cassoulet of the day, and locally famous French onion soup that’s so popular, people call and pay in advance to reserve bowls.
Wondering how it all started?
Strecker’s fascination began with some unexplained health issues, which led her to research the food stabilizers, pesticides and other modern technologies designed to keep food fresh for extended periods of time. As it turned out, raw, unpasteurized milk contains tons of helpful probiotics and bacteria — whereas the processed milk sold in the stores is essentially dead of all its nutritional value, and even comes with bad side products.
“People are unwittingly just eating dead food. Food has just been killed in many ways. Homogenization is like a musician putting everything through autotune,” Strecker says.
She churns and cultures about 230 pounds of butter at a time herself, grinds her own spices, and adds them throughout the churning process depending on their unique potency.
As she says and everyone who’s tried it agrees, “It blows [everything else] on the market away.”